When truck drivers spend long hours on Alabama roadways with minimal resting periods, they put everyone around them in danger. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires every truck operator to keep a trucking log recording the hours spent on the road. This allows authorities to make sure drivers are not exceeding the daily and weekly hour limits that are enforced to prevent truck driver fatigue. However, it is relatively simple to adjust a paper log book, a fact that has led to many tragic trucking accidents.
To combat this issue, the FMCSA is in the process of passing an electronic logging device mandate that will require all commercial trucks to have an approved automatic on-board recording device. This law is expected to go into effect within the next three years. Systems already in use must keep a record of the driver’s hours, including start time and when there are changes in the sequence of duty status. A driver must be able to produce this information on demand on an electronic display or printout.
According to Overdrive, a trucking industry magazine, although some small trucking companies have already embraced the technology, a recent poll shows that 87 percent use paper logs or systems that may not meet the new guidelines. These guidelines are not fully defined yet, so companies already using systems may be required to purchase upgrades or install completely new systems. Even though changes may be required, many truck manufacturers are including devices as standard equipment on new vehicles to help promote safety within the trucking industry.